Performance crossover closely follows segment-leading Golf R hot hatchback with 296bhp and a top speed of 155mph
13 September 2019

The new Volkswagen T-Roc R is now available to order in the UK, with prices starting from £38,450. 

Standard equipment includes white paint, 19in alloy wheels and Volkswagen's latest Active Info Display system. Other colours are available from £360-£1075, while a leather-and-carbonfibre interior package can be equipped for an additional £2155 and an Akrapavoič sports exhaust system for £3000. 

Revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, the T-Roc R is set to become one of the major players in the burgeoning performance crossover market.

It's as closely related to the Golf R as lesser versions are to the regular Golf, sharing the same powertrain and base suspension components. 

That means it has the Volkswagen Group’s EA888 turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (fitted with a particulate filter and in 296bhp tune), part-time Haldex-based all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. 

Our Verdict

Volkswagen T-Roc 2019 road test review - hero front

Volkswagen arrives late at the crossover hatchback party. But can the T-Roc still turn heads in a congested segment?

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Volkswagen claims a 4.9sec 0-62mph time – 0.3sec slower than the Golf R but 0.3sec quicker than the Cupra Ateca – and an electronically governed top speed of 155mph.

Despite a close hardware relationship with the Ateca and the Audi SQ2, settings are unique for each car. Although it sits higher than the Golf, the T-Roc R is 20mm closer to the ground than the standard T-Roc, thanks to lower suspension and firmer settings. Passive dampers are standard, but Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control system can be specified for £695. 

The T-Roc R gets 19in alloy wheels and the beefy 17in brakes from the Golf R Performance as standard.

Other visual changes include chunkier bumpers, an anodised finish for the front grille, matt chrome mirror caps and R badges. The interior gets some carbonfibre trim and a sportier steering wheel, plus the option of the Golf R’s sport seats. 

Q&A with Jost Capito, R division boss

What are the fundamentals of the R brand? 

“It is all-wheel drive, it is sporty and – after discussions with customers in a lot of countries – we know they want to see cars around 300 horsepower. People say why not go higher, but we need to hit a certain price, a sweet spot: we sell more than 20,000 Golf Rs a year.” 

How do you stop confusion with GTI models? 

“Firstly, they have two-wheel drive, but also they are more extreme. The R models have to be less racy, but with the same capability or even more. They always have more horsepower but are more about everyday usage. A TCR or Clubsport is much more aggressive. The GTI is in Up, Polo and Golf – and we are saying that R is starting with Golf.” 

So will there be several other R models? 

“The task I’ve been given is to make R to Volkswagen what M is for BMW. That means different positioning from just having a Golf R. There will be a wider spread. For the future, the Golf and T-Roc will not be the only ones, that’s for sure.” 

Read more

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Price match promise: Volkswagen Golf R vs first-gen Audi R8​

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Comments
26

25 February 2019

I'd love these Germans to think of something a bit more interesting, instead of constantly trying to match each others lineups.

Great car though, not as sporty styling as the Cupra Ateca, but more of VW quality and performance.

Jameson

25 February 2019

Yeah, Bikes don’t count, never look at them twice either......

Peter Cavellini.

25 February 2019

Great styling and a good new addition. It isnt far out of the ordinary but it is going to be fun to drive. Good quality and performance.

25 February 2019

 I like this direction of more performance versions of their SUV line-ups. SUV's are generally boring to drive so lumping more HP into one is always going to have more exciting results. VW are trying to be a more premium brand  and promoting the R badge on various models will set them apart from the best of the rest outside of the german marques. 

Daz

25 February 2019

"The task I’ve been given is to make R to Volkswagen what M is for BMW. That means different positioning from just having a Golf R"...please leave BMW out of this' you have the audi parts bin to raid so you actually want to do is make the R brand what the RS brand is to audi surely. Please feel free to do that.

25 February 2019
It would be a cruel punishment to be forced to review and test such an excruciatingly, tediously predictable appliance as this.

25 February 2019

Yet t another boring complacent complimentary snoozy piece on a VAG car by Autocar..you're their best spokesperson...but I guess they pay the bills...

14 September 2019
FRI2 wrote:

Yet t another boring complacent complimentary snoozy piece on a VAG car by Autocar..you're their best spokesperson...but I guess they pay the bills...

 

If you like the Golf R but want one that’s a bit pricier, uglier, worse to drive and with a cheaper cabin, VW have the car for you! More expensive too.

15 September 2019
scrap wrote:

FRI2 wrote:

Yet t another boring complacent complimentary snoozy piece on a VAG car by Autocar..you're their best spokesperson...but I guess they pay the bills...

 

If you like the Golf R but want one that’s a bit pricier, uglier, worse to drive and with a cheaper cabin, VW have the car for you! More expensive too.

There’s always been an uglier Golf R- the Golf R estate. Wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

25 February 2019

I really like this apart from one minor detail the black wheels, they don’t work with the rest of the details on the car, would like to see it with an alternative.....

You are the weakest link......

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